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1.) Taking a shot to legalize pot — Unfortunately, it’s the Democrats who are taking the lead on the issue at the federal level. The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Greg Campbell reports:
“Two Democratic congressmen are tapping into what they call a ‘groundswell of public opinion’ by introducing legislation to legalize marijuana on the federal level, taxing it and regulating it like alcohol and tobacco. Colorado Rep. Jared Polis introduced the Ending Marijuana Prohibition Act Tuesday, a bill that would remove marijuana from the schedule of controlled substances and take its regulation away from the Drug Enforcement Administration. … If passed, it would mean that states would be free to set their own marijuana policies without the threat of federal intervention, which is currently the greatest hurdle to the pot industries in Colorado and Washington, which legalized the adult recreational use of marijuana by wide margins in November. … Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer also introduced a bill to impose a 50 percent excise tax on marijuana’s first sale from growers to retailers, as well as other taxes similar to those imposed on alcohol and tobacco.”
The GOP should steal the cause. Among other things, it’s a freedom issue. Why should anyone be imprisoned for ingesting something into their own body that directly harms no one else?
“The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released an estimate Tuesday saying that by 2023 the federal debt will be $7 trillion larger. ‘If current laws remain in place, debt will equal 77 percent of GDP and be on an upward path,’ CBO projects. Based on their modeling, 2013 will be the first in five years to have a deficit below $1 trillion — a deficit of $845 billion. ‘With such deficits, federal debt would remain above 73 percent of GDP—far higher than the 39 percent average seen over the past four decades,’ says the CBO. It is recommended that debt-to-GDP ratio should not exceed 60 percent. It currently exceeds 70 percent.”
Up and up it goes — when will it stop? Nobody knows.
3.) The immigration dance continues — Marco Rubio is getting many plaudits for his immigration reform efforts, but that doesn’t mean all those praising him will give his reform proposals an easy pass. TheDC’s Alex Pappas reports:
“The top two Republicans in the House of Representatives praised Florida Sen. Marco Rubio on Tuesday for the immigration overhaul he’s been relentlessly pushing, but stopped short of saying if they could support his ideas. ‘I want to applaud Sen. Rubio for his efforts,’ Boehner said Tuesday during a Capitol Hill news conference. But the Ohio Republican wouldn’t directly address whether he supports the proposed pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants that’s part of the framework supported by Rubio and other Republicans and Democrats in the Senate.”
4.) The right will fight … each other — One conservative organization which previously refrained from involving itself in GOP primaries is ready to change course, reports TheDC’s Alex Pappas:
“As they begin planning for future campaigns, Americans for Prosperity is considering getting involved in Republican nominating contests. In a wide-ranging interview at The Daily Caller’s newsroom in Washington, Tim Phillips, the conservative grassroots organization’s president, admitted that the pro-free market group will consider picking favorites in certain primary contests in 2014 and 2016. In the past, they have not gotten involved in GOP primaries, though they’ve spent millions on issue advocacy, for example.”
In 2014, GOP primary battles could get nassssty.
6.) Today in North Korean News — BREAKING: “Kim Jon Un Sends New Year Cards to Party, State Leaders of Different Countries”